How Cooking Frees Men Essay Sample

How Cooking Frees Men Pages
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This article explains how the discovery in cooking foods has dramatically changed the way we live, and the amount of time freed up by spending less time chewing. Raw food takes much longer to eat than soft cooked foods. The discovery of cooking changed our social division of labor between men and women. The Hadza tribes are foragers; hunters and gathers, and now that cooking food is possible, the men hunt for meat, while the women forage the land for anything edible. When the men come back to the village, the women hope they have meat or honey to provide, but if they come empty handed, the women have the food they have gathered already prepared for the hungry men. The men and women share their food with one another, their children, and extended family. Even though my family and I are not foragers, this sounds very similar to the same way I was brought up.

My father would make the money that paid for the food, while my mother would stay home to raise us children and cook. She always had dinner ready for my father whether he was coming home from work or home after looking for a job. Either way, we always had food on our table. There were even summers that we had to pick fruit with my mother on farmers land so we can have canned fruit stock our pantry. We would forage in the fall walnuts that have fallen off a walnut tree on the side of some road, so she can make banana nut bread. As a child I was put to work on several occasions to help my mother, and that was not the same way my brothers were raised, they would be allowed to go hunting or fishing with my father. Even though my family and I are not foragers we have a lot of similarities with the Hadza tribe and how they divide their labor based upon gender and age.

Foragers follow the method of hunter and gatherer, to collect their food. They form small communities of mainly family; immediate and extended family. The men hunt for food while the women and children forage for edible plants. The tribes join occasionally to celebrate things; and they share their food. The Hadza believed if a single man provided the meat for the day, he would divide the food with his family first, and then divide it amongst the rest of the tribesmen. Foraging may have been the way to gather food in the beginning of man (several small tribes still live as foragers, like the Hadza tribe). Today, America and many other countries use intensive agriculture; we use machinery to irrigate and fertilize to increase our surplus. This is necessary because of our population; we are not only a few like the foragers. We are primarily controlled through a government, as apposed to moving about with a village.

My first impression of this article was not too great; I felt the writer discussed the difference of chew time within too much detail. I understand the concept of “less time chewing = more time”. What I found most interesting, and gained insight from, was the knowledge that cooking food to make it soft, freed up the time of man. Without that simple action of cooking our food, man would be very different today. Not just time wise, but that was the start of division of labor within a family. This is still practiced within many American families and tribes that still live off the land. I think a big difference between us and them (which there are a few tribal foragers still today), they live creating little impact on their environment, while we seem to not care so much about the harm we do to ours. I feel because of more time, we not only have the means to relax and socialize, but we also abuse it. We are not as active, and to some people their social part of life is their most important. So because of more time, people are becoming obese, lazy, and gossipy. That pretty much sums up over half of the American population.

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